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The place of immigration in studies of geography and race

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This paper argues that geographical research on immigration and geographical research on race and racism in the USA must be explicitly connected. Geographic processes such as globalization and urban development already link immigration with race and racism and suggest a need to conceptualize research agendas around immigration and race in relation to each other. Not only are racialized groups spatially connected in many neighbourhoods, cities and regions of the USA, but they are also linked through policies structured by the state at various scales and narratives produced about subordinated and racialized groups. In making this argument, I attempt to highlight work in geography, in related social sciences and in ethnic studies that demonstrates the necessity and usefulness of this approach. Geographers are uniquely positioned to illuminate how the construction of space, place and scale overlaps with the construction of racial-ethnic and immigrant identities and with racism itself. The paper argues that these and other research questions also benefit from linking race and immigration to gender, as some feminist geography and feminist studies have done. Likewise, ethnic studies offer a wealth of theoretical, methodological and empirical insight into linking immigration, race and racism in geographical work.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, Rutgers University, 54 Joyce Kilmer Ave., Piscataway, NJ 08854-8045, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2000

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